Fishing in Spain

Licences & Regulations

To fish in Spain, you need to have a license and a local angling permit. The permit is pretty easy to obtain even as a foreigner, but the license can be time consuming unless you already have a foreign licence.

  • Fishing licences are valid from one to five years
  • Licences are available to anyone 16 years of age and older
  • A parent or guardian must apply for a licence for a child under 16
  • Licences are free in some regions for residents of Spain over the age of 65
  • Licences state which areas can be fished and specify if they are "catch and release" (sin meurte) areas

For those not holding a foreign fishing licence, a Spanish licence can be obtained from the territorial Ministry of the Environment office (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente). Applicants must pass an exam in Spanish before being granted a licence. After the exam, it can take over a month to receive the results and permit.

Therefore, for those planning on coming to Spain to fish, it may be advantageous to obtain a foreign fishing licence prior to arriving in Spain. Holders of an existing foreign licence will not be required to take an exam in Spanish and may obtain a fishing licence online from Telelicencia.

Fishing insurance (seguros de pesce) for civil liability may be required when applying for the licence. Inquire prior to applying for a licence, as this insurance is not required in all regions of Spain.


Once you have the fishing license, getting a carp fishing permit for any area is a piece of cake. These can be obtained from local tackle shops, some Caja Rural and Caja Mar Banks, or from the local office of the Ministry of the Environment (Minsterio de Medio Ambiente).

Failure to obtain the necessary permits and licences can result in large fines and confiscation of fishing equipment. Some anglers choose to hire professional tour operators to obtain the required permits, licences and insurance.

Fishing Waters

There are both public and private waters in Spain. An additional permit may be needed to fish in some. There are three types of fishing environment:

  • Free (libros): These waters do not need a special permit
  • Restricted (cotos): These are waters that do require a permit
  • Fisheries (intensivos): Permits for these waters are often available in local shops

Most rivers have restrictions on the numbers of licences issued per day and the quantity and size of the fish that may be caught.

The Spanish Fishing and Casting Association (Federación Española de Pesca y Casting) has further information on fishing sites and regulations.

  • Live bait is forbidden in most of the locations, especially the Ebro river.
  • Fishing nets are not allowed.
  • In the Aragon region, you can fish up to 2200hrs.
  • You can do night fishing if you are a member of a Catalonia fishing club.
  • Carp fishing is strictly catch-and-release.
  • Excessive baiting with pellets is not allowed.
  • The maximum number of rods allowed per angler is 2.


Spain is a relatively warm country and is unaffected by temperature changes and other limitations. Its waters are also well stocked with carp. The happy result of this is that you can angle for fish all year round.

However, the peak season is during Spring and Autumn. Some fisheries also close over July and August in case of excessive heat.




902 300 622

Spanish Fishing and Casting Association


Check List

  • Fishing Licence & Permit (see above)
  • Photo ID
  • Travel Insurance - we recommend these providers

If you are driving:

  • Green Card (Insurance) - contact your insurer
  • Driving licence
  • Vehicle Log Book
  • GB Sticker
  • Be aware of road tolls & charges - see here for details

NB: If you’re in Spain, Cyprus or Malta, you must display a GB sticker no matter what is on your number plate.

Recommended Service Partners

For the best deals and for Carp Circle assurance use our recommended partners:

Car Hire

Have a car waiting for you upon arrival. Great rates guaranteed.

Travel Insurance

Stay safe & stay covered. Best rates for European travel.


Daily budget flights in and out of all main European airports.